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The Darkdeep

(The Darkdeep #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,278 ratings  ·  342 reviews
When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even 'cool kid' Opal – rush to his rescue... only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below.

Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can'
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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Pen&Quill Read If you like moveirs and shoes like the Goonies, Earth to Echo, and stranger things ( I've never seen that one but a lot of people comparethis to that)…moreIf you like moveirs and shoes like the Goonies, Earth to Echo, and stranger things ( I've never seen that one but a lot of people comparethis to that). Stories about friends sticking together no matter the odds and a plot just scary enough that it has you darting looks over your shoulder every time a floor board sqweaks or rain taps at your window then yes I think you will find this worth reading. It is a little short and therefore fast pase but doesn't that just adds to the excitement?!(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  1,278 ratings  ·  342 reviews

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Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs is the first book in the new middle grade horror series by the same name. A lot of people are comparing this one to Stranger Things which could be but since I haven’t watched those what it did remind me of is some of Stephen King’s horror but on a middle grade level. The story is one of a group of somewhat misfit kids encountering a group of bullies and of course that bullying leads to their discovery.

Nico, Tyler and Emma are out near Still Cove whi
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing

My initial interest in this novel is that Ally Condie is one of the writers, and I have had a pretty good experience with her Matched trilogy and Atlantia. When This came up on NetGalley, I was so excited and hoping to be a reviewer for this book. And I was chosen! A big thank you to NetGalley. Bloomsbury, Ally Condie, and Brendan Reichs for the amazing opportunity of reading this book in exchange for an honest review.

Many people are saying this has a very Stranger Things vibe to it. I won’t
Sheila Beaumont
An eerie, creepy, sometimes hilarious supernatural mystery-thriller that might be described as Stephen King for middle-graders. It would probably appeal to fans of "Stranger Things" or "The Goonies." Creatures emerge out of the children's minds from the whirling Darkdeep pool. They start out as amusing, then gradually escalate to downright frightening. I didn't find it especially scary (the worst parts for me were the slugs and the giant cockroach), but some middle-graders might. On the whole, i ...more
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nico Holland and his friends, Tyler and Emma, go to Still Cove to have fun flying Nico's new drone. The cliffs above Still Cove are perfect for trying it out....nice flat area, 5 miles from town, nobody to bother them. Most people avoid the area. It's just a bit too remote and perpetually covered in dense fog. The currents and jagged rocks in Still Cove are too much for boats. The cliffs are just a bit too high and foggy to be safe. And, there are the legends about The Beast....a sea monster tha ...more
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
There have been some amazing middle grade books this year and The Darkdeep is another one.

Nico, Tyler, and Ella are friends.  Nico's dad caused some issues in town while trying to protect the owls.  Because of that, a lot of people were laid off work and they blame him for it.  Logan's dad runs the big company that was hurt by this.  He bullies Nico a lot, mostly because of that.  While out flying a drone by the cliffs of Still Cove, Logan and his friends show up and start harassing them.  He fl
Jessica Woodbury
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
We read this book together after seeing Ally Condie at an event at our local bookstore. I worried it might be too scary for the kids, but they never got all that scared. There were definitely some tense chapters, and once I think they *might* have been more scared than they let on. The kids like action-packed books and this one fit the bill for them.

It's definitely not the most complex plot or characters we've come across, but the kids were always happy to sit down and read a few chapters, whic
Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
This book was a fun and eerie middle grade adventure that made me nostalgic for my youth by reminding me of the times I spent reading Goosebumps as a kid. Actually, I feel like there was a lot of spooky series’ that I read in the nighties/early millennium!

This was a quick, fun imaginative adventure which at the core is also about friendship and facing fears. Important messages were told in a casual way which had the effect of keeping that topic important but also not adding an additional “chees
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy, own
Creepy dark fantasy (but not too dark, as it is middle grade) about a group of friends . . . and frenemies . . . who find a strange, secret spot outside of town. Is it magic, is it a hallucination? Is it pure evil and they SHOULDN'T BE TOUCHING IT?! (Mom instincts kicking in, there!) Really nice set up for a series, and enough humor to leaven the creepiness, but I wouldn't give it to an overly sensitive child (if they're scared of the recent Goosebumps or House With A Clock In Its Walls movies, ...more
Emilie Haney
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
What a ride! I really enjoyed this relatively fast-paced MG that will be hitting the shelves this fall (October 2) in perfect time for Halloween.

I definitely felt like it was Stranger Things meets middle grade, but am hesitant to say that I’d recommend it to kids any younger than 10. While it has a strong message of over coming fear (something I thought was great) it could prove to be a little much for readers with a vivid imagination.

I loved the interplay between the original core group of fo
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Nico, Opal, Emma and Tyler stumble upon a mysterious houseboat in the middle of Still Cove (thought to be haunted). The houseboat contains all kinds of interesting trinkets, but it is what is below the houseboat that is the most interesting - (view spoiler) ...more
Kath (Read Forevermore)
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-arcs, reviews
An arc of this book was sent to me by Bloomsbury in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Darkdeep is a perfectly fast paced middle grade story that is full of friendship and adventure mixed with spooky. Super fun to read with a good amount of suspense. Although I have to admit it was a bit slow at the beginning, halfway through the book, it just picks up and the ending was just GREAT! I love the original plot ideas and plot twists! Definitely a good book to read with H
4 kids find something spooky in the nearby cove, sadly silly drama make the book less fun.

I have been meaning to read this one for a while and then I had the luck to find the book for quite cheap and in English somewhere. I could finally read it!

This started off as 4.5, then we got so much unnecessary drama/bitching between Nico and Opal which continued for wayyy too long so 4 stars, then Logan was suddenly added to the Darkdeep business and things got weird and so 3.5 stars and with how things
Joanna (BookandPages)
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this a 3/5 stars today, but I think that may be higher if I read it again. I don't really know how to feel about this yet. I was slightly bored about half way in. It started to get a little repetitive. But I did stick it out, and I loved the last 30%. It was so good. I've never seen Stranger Things, so I couldn't say if it compares, but it gave me major Scooby Doo vibes. I really enjoyed this book, and I'm excited to recommend it to people at the bookstore I work at. This may be a mid ...more
Sheila Goicea
I received an ARC of this book in a giveaway. Note that anything quoted may not match the finished publication.


Content Warning: Death, Injury, Fighting, Bullying
The pool was the darkest thing she’d ever seen. And it was deep.

I think the older I get, the more I appreciate the Middle Grade genre. Granted, I’m not old in some people’s opinion. What I feel like I never outgrow are the simplistic lessons many Middle Grade books have to offer--The Darkdeep being one of them. Essentially, The Darkd
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
I liked the premise of this book fine, but that's pretty much where it ended.

I think four kids finding a secret place with a secret evil presence is pretty cool. The descriptions of the creatures as well as the ways that they eventually manifest themselves are not cool. They're uninspired, lazy and truncated.

The writing style used is a textbook example of surface skimming, using as few words as possible to describe what actions the characters are doing and what the creatures look like. It's like
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A comment on the ARC read "Stranger Things meets The Goonies." Love both the series and the movie. While this book is not as intense or scary, I see the similarities. That being said I found this an enjoyable read, and excellent start to the series.

Any fan of Strangers Things and The Goonies will enjoy.
Stars Above Jess
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun middle grade! It was like Stranger Things mixed with The Goonies.
Brian Anderson
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love when books surprise me. This one certainly did. All I wanted was a monster in the woods tale (or in this case, the cove). You won’t see what’s coming in this story. The characters may not grab you right away, but the book moves with suspenseful chapter endings and an ever evolving plot that takes quite the turn at imagination-ville.
This almost should be a longer book. The mythos set up here deserves a bit more space to expand, however it is the first book in the series, so my hope is t
Halley Nisleit
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I was enjoying it, I was, but then I forgot I was reading a middle grade and the enjoyment kinda dwindled. I wanted creepy sea monster vibes but I got power rangers and tinker bell and a lot of unanswered questions. I know there is a sequel but I wanted some satisfaction in the end and I feel like I barley got any. I don’t know if I’ll continue on. It kind of disappointed me but I also don’t read much middle grade so that might be a fault on my end.
Emily Forsyth
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was GREAT

if you love IT and the losers club or the kids from stranger things and you’re looking for a “kids ride bikes around town and fight an evil entity while also being adorable and having cute friendship stuff and cute crushes happen, but also it’s actually pretty spooky” type book then this is for you! I basically loved everything about it except that it’s too short, but luckily book two is out so I can go read that now
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A good read for some mild spooky vibes around Halloween! I do wish the secondary characters had been a bit more defined, but overall an enjoyable and sufficiently unsettling read.
Clare Lund
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh. Interesting premise, but I just couldn’t get into it. Ages 12 and up.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade, horror
Hey Marketing Department,

You got me with the “Move over, Stranger Things” review.

As a result, I'm judging this more harshly.

You got nothing on Stranger Things.

(It was ok.)
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
If I were younger, I would have enjoyed this more but I will read anything Ally Condie comes out with!
Ms. Yingling
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to N
Feb 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-low, middle-g
I think this is the one book I cringed at a wonderful Godzilla reference instead of rejoicing.

This was...middle grade trying to be too much middle grade? Like, I felt it was like IMMA BE AS MIDDLE GRADE AS I CAN AND CRAM IT ALL INTO THIS LITTLE MIDDLE GRADE BOOK.

I've been reading a lot of middle grade for the past year, and I've really found some amazing gems. Obviously, I know I'm past the age of middle grade, but I have found that good writing and a good plot can totally transcend age gap. H
Dena (Batch of Books)
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book when the authors came to a book festival in my town. I took my kids and we got our book signed (they're both so nice and funny! Ally is very sweet and Brendan made my kids laugh.)

Since we met the authors, my nine-year-old daughter decided she wanted to be brave and read this spooky book with me. So I read it aloud to her.

Ally and Brendan mentioned that it is like Stranger Things meets The Goonies, and that's a pretty accurate description. It's about a group of friends who fin
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs, 272 pages. Bloomsbury, October 2018. $17.

Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG



When Timber’s resident bullies send Nico’s drone off the cliff into perpetually foggy Still Cove, Nico is desperate to get his very expensive drone back. When he braves the cliff, he falls and his friends follow Opal, who used to be Nico’s friend, over the edge to rescue him. What they all find, however, is mu
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
this seems possibly too terrifying for this age group? but it is a thrill ride of fun and super cthulu lurking around every corner.

seriously when the lovecraft mystery rears its head and their joint consensus is, "we need to research and read!", I laughed pretty hard. RPG Call of Cthulu has library use as one of the primary skill areas so this is very appropriate.

basically, a story of a bunch of 12 year olds in a tiny town in Washington state finding a mysterious island with a bizarre, paranorm
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: vine, fiction-elem-mg
Nico and his friends are out testing his brand new quadcopter drone - which he's spent all the money he had to build - when a group of bullies shows up. After one of the bullies pilots the drone into the fog, Nico goes out on a ledge (literally) to try and get it back, but ends up falling into a mystery. The kids find a magical houseboat on an island with a strange swirling well inside it. But what starts out as fun exploring the mysteries soon becomes a menace that threatens not only themselves ...more
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Ally Condie is a former high school English teacher who lives with her husband, three sons and one daughter outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves reading, running, eating, and listening to her husband play guitar.

Other books in the series

The Darkdeep (3 books)
  • The Beast (The Darkdeep, #2)
  • The Torchbearers (The Darkdeep, #3)

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